Sunday, February 28, 2010

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Latest From : CleanTechnica

“Thermos Bottle” Technology Delivers Solar Hot Water in Cold Weather

Posted: 28 Feb 2010 06:43 AM PST

Solar Panels Plus introduces Thermos-style solar hot water heater A lunch box staple is the core idea behind solar technology that could bring cost effective solar-heated hot water to cold climates.  Solar Panels Plus has come up with a solar hot water heater based on evacuated tubes similar to those popularized by Thermos.  Last year two of the company’s models were certified as eligible for Canada’s ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program, but the real test will occur in southeastern Idaho, where Solar Panels Plus has installed a solar hot water system at the Homestead Family Restaurant in Blackfoot.

If the installation keeps the solar hot water coming in cold weather, it’s another big step forward for the ability of solar energy to compete with fossil fuels.  Restaurants are hot water gobblers, and a low cost solar installation that works in cold weather would have a relatively short payback for high volume users — especially if it receives solar energy incentives from its utility, as was the case here.


83% of Americans Think More Money Should Go to High Speed Rail

Posted: 28 Feb 2010 04:56 AM PST

Surprisingly, after Obama’s announcement to give $8 billion to High Speed Rail (HSR) projects across the country, popular support for HSR has dropped, but it is still 88%. Not bad.

Of course, more money is needed to make HSR the reality people dream of.

A new survey shows that 83% of people think HSR and mass transit should be getting more money.


Fox News’ Link to Saudi Kingpin

Posted: 27 Feb 2010 11:15 PM PST

As a short sequel to “Climate Skeptics' Leading Scientist Funded by Dirty Energy“, this is a brief look at the close connection between Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (ok, not Kingpin, but close) and Fox News, one of the leading media outlets in the world regularly promoting climate denier and anti-clean energy “news” and information.

Prince Alwaleed is the world’s 5th richest man and has decided to put a large chunk of money into this US media company.


13% of Utilities Believe Centralized Electric Generation Will be Obsolete by 2050

Posted: 27 Feb 2010 08:22 PM PST

By 2050, 69% of utilities expect that a combination of central power stations in tandem with distributed renewable energy (typically rooftop solar PV and small wind) will supply most of the nation’s electricity, according to a survey by Black and Veatch.

But a surprising 13% of utilities believe that an “Al Gore Electra-net” model of distributed rooftop power will be the dominant way we get our electricity in the US by 2050.

“Most of our respondents (69%) see a hybrid electric utility industry model embracing a combination of both central generation and distributed resources evolving by 2050. Such a system would include both centralized base-load generation and distributed renewable generation made feasible by advanced smart grid technology.”

Imagine if you believed your whole industry would be obsolete by 2050. That’s only forty years from now!

If you believed your industry would be gone in forty years, would you make long term capital investments in electric power generation? I sure wouldn’t. Expect more blackouts on the central grid as we get closer to the half-century!

Climate Skeptics’ Leading Scientist Funded by Dirty Energy

Posted: 27 Feb 2010 03:58 PM PST

If you are gardening, you have to pay attention to the plants you want to grow, but you also have to pay some attention to the weeds. We seem to be at the beginning of a true clean energy revolution, but even as we admire the nutritious, delicious-looking clean energy crops sprouting up, we have to spend a little time keeping an eye on the weeds.

Climate change and the breakthrough of clean energy technologies are linked, since climate change is a major factor spurring clean energy development and growth.

And one of the leading ways dirty energy titans of the past (and present) who do not want to lose their business or their income try to keep clean energy from growing is through continual attempts to undermine the scientific findings of some of the world’s greatest scientists.

Well, it is no surprise to find out that one of the climate skeptics’ leading scientists — probably the “independent” scientist most often used by the media to present the climate change deniers’ arguments — makes quite a bit of money working for dirty energy companies. But it took a little investigative research (not by me, I have to admit) to uncover this carefully guarded information.


Al Gore Electranet Begins in California

Posted: 27 Feb 2010 03:45 PM PST

Yesterday the California legislature just raised the allowable limit on rooftop power from 2.5% of our grid to 5%, because we were in danger of exceeding the 2.5% – within a matter of months. The net-metering limit was about to be breached.

Net metering is like roll-over minutes on cell phones. It means our utilities must credit us for our excess generation while we are at work on sunny afternoons, so that our night time electricity use is credited by the afternoon’s excess electrons stored on the grid in our “account”.

Under prior law, any net energy generation remaining at the end of each 12-month period was granted to our electric utility. (We got no end-of-year roll-over kilowatt-hours.)

But yesterday that got better, for us.


3x More Wind Energy Potential than Previously Thought

Posted: 27 Feb 2010 09:33 AM PST

In 1993, based on wind energy technology of the time, Pacific Northwest Laboratory predicted that 10,777,000 GW hours of electricity per year could be produced from wind on US lands. Now, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) predicts that the US could generate about three times that much — 37,000,000 GW hours of electricity per year — due to technological improvements.

How does that compare to total electricity consumption? It is nine times total US electricity consumption, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

These findings are based on the first full analysis of US wind power capacity in 17 years, conducted recently by NREL and AWS Truewind.